A little late with the write up but I managed to get back to the Dove last Saturday.
EA river levels said it was somewhere in the middle of what we would deem normal, so off I set arriving at the river 12.30 midday-ish.
First thing, the entrance to the car park was a state. Mud, and fairly deep water covered in ice, the grass has been torn up a little too, so a bit of nifty driving gets the car to the ‘solid’ area. Great, well until I have to get out, but we worry about that later don’t we? The fields had large areas that were still underwater, thankfully though the ground had been frozen so the mud/wet wasn't as bad as it could have been.
The river although ‘normal’ was much higher than I’d have liked, and the swims I’d caught from a few weeks previous seemed to be flowing far too quickly for my liking.
I chose about 4 marginal crease swims somewhere near half way down the length, baited them all with a handful of mash periodically and fished each in turn over the course of the day.
There was not a lot doing it had to be said. It was cold too, very cold late afternoon in fact, not helped by the fact I had my summer bib and brace on, instead of the heavier winter version. So for the large part of the day all I had to keep me going were a few ‘possible’ plucks each of which turned into precisely nowt.
However as is often the case, when the light level started to drop around 4pm I had a definite pull round which resulted in a hooked fish. A good scrap and I netted what looked like a very decent lump. A five plus looked to be on the cards however the scales said 4.15. No matter, a great result on a cold day.
Walking off to the car park was a hoot as well. I decided to cut across the fields, got totally disorientated in the darkness and found myself walking about 120 degrees the wrong direction. I had to stop, gather my thoughts, go back to my swim and start again. Fantastic scenes.
Arriving home I had the ultimate Saturday night meff tea courtesy of 'Dee Aldee'! Aldi spare ribs, Aldi chilli flavoured doritos, Aldi St Etienne lager followed by Aldi almond chocolate, a taste sensation!
The following day I decided to spend a few hours on the local. Arriving at 2.30pm the first cast produced a 12oz'er on flake, things looked promising so I stuck at that swim for another hour, sadly nothing else came my way so I then moved into one of my so called ‘banker’ swims going into dark, now renamed to something else as I never got a bite here either.
There was still plenty of water in the river despite being back in the EA 'normal' range. A bit gutted nothing else showed up however the resident Rolands turned up in their droves to keep my on my toes after dark. I called it a day about 5pm.